ERIC Number: EJ906127
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Reference Count: 3
English Professor as Public Figure: My Days in Court
White, Edward M.
College English, v73 n2 p183-195 Nov 2010
The author has twice spent a full day in court, as an expert witness; rather an odd task for an English professor, one might think. Each time involved a matter of considerable importance: an obscenity prosecution of a classic novel during the 1960s, and then, about twenty years later, a financial crisis at a community college involving dozens of possible layoffs. He has also been chair of an appeals committee on a dismissal case of an untenured faculty member that eventually went to the United States Supreme Court, and an American Association of University Professors (AAUP) official observer of a case involving the firing of a tenured full professor. In addition, he wound up getting involved in a court case that never occurred, from which he learned an important lesson. On a larger scale, he has testified before committees of the California State Assembly and California State Senate. More routinely, he has been involved in a half dozen or more student grade appeal cases as professor and department chair. Recalling moments when he appeared in court or participated in similar proceedings, the author argues that English professors must be ready to defend the values they represent.
Descriptors: Court Litigation, College Faculty, English Teachers, Values, Censorship, Community Colleges, Job Layoff, Teacher Dismissal, Social Responsibility
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site: http://www.ncte.org/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Massachusetts